A group of spoonbills departing from the coast of Ja Landa in southern Spain to make the crossing to Africa. (Photographer: Marió Padilla)

After a very short stop at Souess Massa National Park in Morocco, he flew land inward to a lake where he stayed for three days. Yesterday he departed again, but flew “only” 250 km to stop at a small river outlet along the Atlantic Coast from which he departed again today. He is getting close to the Western Sahara where mobile phone coverage is poor. Let’s hope we can keep track of him to see whether he will spend the winter in the Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania), a large Wadden system along the Saharan coast, and a wintering place for thousands of spoonbills as well as millions of shorebirds.

Julie, another juvenile spoonbill from the Camargue, reached Africa already two weeks ago, but using a very different route: she crossed the Mediterranean via a 3-day-stop on Sardinia. She is currently staying very close to the one to largest city of Tunisia, Sfax, in the Gulf of Gabes, a known wintering place for spoonbills from the Camargue and from central Europe.

The last signal that we received from Fafa was on 16 September above the Mediterranean. We are afraid that he didn’t survive the crossing to Africa, although there is still a small chance that he is hiding in a place with poor GSM coverage. We now show Chris on the map instead, who made an impressive non-stop crossing over the Mediterranean already a month ago, and is currently staying in the Lake of Fetzara (a Ramsar site) in Algeria.

The route of Alex in Marocco.